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Discourse 11: Mindfulness
#1
I talked about demons: To be clear, we have found no evidence of demons in our study of things paranormal.
 
Reader’s comment
Interesting. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, only that YOU haven’t seen any evidence. There is abundant evidence outside the purview of ITC, and in the paranormal literature. Who they are is the real question, and religionists’ answers do tend to be antiquated. 
 
My Reply
To be clear, I make a distinction between people behaving badly and the biblical concept of evil. There simply is no evidence, I am aware of, from ITC or mediumship that the biblical sort of evil exists. Demon scratches are apparently stigmata-like physiological responses to hysteria, poltergeists tend to be a child crying for attention, haunting events tend to be scary in how we think of them and react at the time, everywhere you look, the evidence is that the ostensibly evil experience is being reported as such by a person based on cultural training.

The problem is that, once we say there is evil, then we reinforce the biblical concept of evil and people quickly go beyond rational thinking. If there is no reasonable foundation of evidence, then belief in evil is not objective thinking. Why contaminate our lives with beliefs like that? Better to believe in the inherent goodness of spirit.
Tom Butler
Co-director ATransC
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#2
Reader's Response:
I’m not sure how you define “biblical” evil.  Evil is a vast topic, “people behaving badly” would constitute a complete or accurate summation. Poltergeists and hauntings are a small sampling of non-physical embodiments that might be classified as evil (loosely defined as “demons.”) Some others are elementals, elementaries, tulpas, negative ET’s, humans stuck on the lower astral, djinns, nature kingdom beings looking out for their own welfare at the expense of humans, fallen angels and other assorted “biblical” entities that have been researched outside of the bible itself.  I’m not up on the full scope of the ITC evidence and why you believe it does not support the existence of such life forms. 

My Reply:
From Google's definition Evil: (noun) profound immorality, wickedness, and depravity, especially when regarded as a supernatural force. From my experience, people use evil in the sense of the intent to do harm and as reference to a divine entity determined to corrupt our love of God. In the first sense, to do harm, we more generally hear the term, sociopath. Again from Google: Sociopath (noun) a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience.


I think I can make a pretty good argument that poltergeists are a call for help and that it is our reaction to hauntings that makes them scary. I do not understand why you might think the rest are associated with the evil concept.


It has been necessary in group conversations about EVP to clarify what people intended by evil. For instance, the "Angry man" EVP sometimes produced by Panasonic RR DR60s were originally described as evil, but in at least one, I found an "I love you" utterance. Because the evil sounding utterances turned out to be natural artifacts of the device which were sometimes coopted for the production of voice, and considering how people were originally unnerved by them, it became necessary to address the evil concept with the group. The consensus was that it was evil-like or evil sounding. All agreed that there was a difference between that and the divine evil.


I am not qualified to discuss psychological issues with academic authority, so I try to break the concept down to its basics. My underlying assumption is that people feel justified in all they do; no one deliberately violates their sense of right. If that is true, then the real issue is in worldview and what we have been taught. That brings me right back to mindfulness. To paraphrase my  motto: Do what you wish but understand the consequences of what you do.

Reader's Second Response:
Belief in the inherent goodness of spirit is not incompatible with evidence for and existence of evil. We can sweep it under the rug to prevent panic, but that’s condescending. Even if there were such a thing as the irrational, uneducated masses, our job is to tell them the truth, not censor it.  The light of knowledge dissolves darkness better than a well-intended suppression.

My Reply:
I agree that my attempt to manage what people hear so as to manage what they think can be characterized as condescending. It is an approach to teaching I have learned from my study of the ancient wisdoms. The concept of "For those who have eyes to see" is recognition of the human reality that people only understand that which they can visualize, and that such visualization is based on worldview. I refer to the concept as perceptual agreement in Discourse 3: Organizing Principles.


The ancient schools used a system of initiations to gradually move a neophyte toward masterhood. The 22 keys of the Major Arcana in the Tarot portray a round of learning toward initiation into a new plateau of understanding. The idea is that people can only gradually align their beliefs with the actual nature of reality. 


In practice, I know that speaking the word "evil" to the average person will bring up a mix of dread taught by the media and the fear of divine attack on the soul taught by religions. When that happens, my intention to explain the wonder of communicating across the veil with a loved one is defeated. 
Tom Butler
Co-director ATransC
Reply
#3
First, a correction on a previous typo in my sentence:
Evil is a vast topic, “people behaving badly” would constitute a complete or accurate summation.
I meant to say "would NOT constitute ..."

The key is "intent to do harm." The non-physical beings I listed, among others, intend to do harm. Some are human, others are not. That they feel justified in doing harm, according to their worldview, does not detract from the fact that their intentions and/or actions are evil.

As for poltergeists, you may have convincing evidence that they do not intend to do harm, but their actions can be harmful. As an analogy, an infant seeking attention will cry through the night to fulfill its justifiable need for food, drink, diaper change, touch, love, security or whatever. The cries keep its parents awake, which does harm to their need for sleep, and could thereby be classified as evil. We justify the infant's behavior because we understand its purpose. We might have a more difficult time understanding why a creature from the lower astral plane does harm because we are ignorant of its nature. The creature feels justified, but the action is evil, nonetheless.

There is a particular type of evil in which a creature justifiably intends to corrupt the target's love of God. If we define God as the source "reality field" that you discuss in the book, some creatures may feel threatened by others' desire to align with that field. One popular explanation is that the creature literally "feeds" off the energy of others' pain and suffering. If the creature can divert the subject's love of God to itself, it gains sustenance.

We might consider life as good, and the premature termination of life as evil. A predator that destroys the life of another creature to sustain itself, could be considered evil from the frame of reference of the victim. Humans who consume meat are predators upon their animal victims, for example. Those animals do not intend to die, so harm is done to them. They are victims of human evil.

An incrementalist didactic approach to wisdom is fine. But by withholding your nuanced understanding of demons and evil, you create a vacuum in which wrong understandings thrive. The way to counteract the "average" person's understanding of "evil" (dread and divine attack) is to replace it with a better understanding. This can only enhance your mission to explain the wonder of communicating across the veil.
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#4
You said, "The way to counteract the 'average' person's understanding of "evil" (dread and divine attack) is to replace it with a better understanding." I agree. It appears we disagree about the nature of "better understanding."


You are probably correct from the perspective of popular wisdom about evil. I would also say that the popular wisdom about evil is a cultural aberration brought by religions and the media. It is a body/physical-centric perspective.

Somewhere in the book, I state that it is not what happens to you that is important, it it how you react to what happens to you. If we are immortal beings, then death is a local experience. It is not my intention to trivialize our cultural fear of evil, so let me try to keep this in the context of the Implicit Cosmology.

Part of the Implicit Cosmology model is that we experience a lifetime to gain understanding about the nature of reality as it is expressed in the physical context. Another part of the model is that we are part of a collective of personalities and that there are many such collectives sharing this venue for experience. Collectives are modeled as a number of aspects of a personality (our creator personality) expressed by the personality to gain specific understanding. As part of my collective, there are other persons who may be cooperating with me to gain that understanding. As a practical matter, people of different collectives intermingled in the physical as a cooperative community.

It is interesting to note that in Paul Twitchell's Eckankar, Kal Niranjan is the lord the mental plane. Much of Eckankar appears to have been taken from Sikhism, which considers Kal Niranjan to be in charge of karma. According to Twitchell, kal's job is to keep people in the physical until they have gained sufficient maturity to move on. The concept applies here, because it pertains to the seeker's only mission in life, which is to gain understanding through experience. When something happens to a seeker that is thought to be bad by our culture, he or she is expected to find the lesson in it and gain further understanding accordingly.

As with many Eastern systems of thought, Eckankar describes progression as occurring in steps via initiations. At least during the Twitchell days, they subscribe to the idea of the Dark Night of Soul, also described in Key 16 of the Tarot (The Tower). To gain the next level, one must give up old beliefs. The belief in being a helpless victim of evil is one of the early misconceptions to go.

There is an old sarcasm amongst seekers that it is easy to be an enlightened one while living in a cave. It is the trials of living in the world that makes the true master.

Two other thoughts from the cosmology. One is that cooperation amongst fellow members of a collective might very well be "You kill me and then next lifetime it will be my turn to kill you." Along those lines, read the last part of Richard Bach's Illusions where the mystical pilot goads a man into killing him. Amongst the last lines of the book was the comment from the teacher that he hadn't expected being killed like that to be such a rush. I like the quotes: "You're going to die a horrible death, remember. It's all good training, and you'll enjoy it more if you keep the facts in mind." and "Take your dying with some seriousness, however. Laughing on the way to your execution it not generally understood by less advanced lifeforms, and they'll call you crazy."

The second is that perception and expression is based on worldview. When I say "the average person," I intend people who are not consciously seeking personal progression. While we tend to gain understanding justy by living, some people have stepped onto the mindful way and those are the people for whom the evil concept should have little meaning.

We have demonstrated on a number of occasions how expectations of fearful things tends to produce fearful things, while conversely, a worldview which holds understanding about the nature of the unknown tends to produce more understandable experiences from the same source. This is an important point for this discussion. I play down the evil concept just as I play down the karma concept. Both tend to be self-fulfilling prophesies. Karma is better understood as imperfect understanding of the organizing principles of reality and evil is better understood as personally challenging influences.
Tom Butler
Co-director ATransC
Reply
#5
Thanks for taking up my challenge to provide your nuanced perspective of evil, which furthers your mission and brings attention back to the book. The concepts you discuss here and in the book are familiar to students of metaphysics, but you state them so well, and in terms of an original and well though out cosmology!

My comments were an attempt to illustrate the very-broad definition of evil in your prior post, and a brief exposition of some of its aspects. In the recent post, you discuss karma and evil from the "personality" perspective. Both our comments are true in their own domains. My comments were an exposition of the body/physical-centric perspective, but I beg to differ that they are merely a product of "cultural aberration brought by religions and the media." Such aberrations are based on superstition (religion) and sensationalism (media). By contrast, objective research and careful observation of paranormal phenomena have attempted to delineate the subjects, objects and nature of those phenomena (including "evil" phenomena) from a materialist perspective, and that is a valid study.

Where the two domains meet is an important question, and one which has direct relevance to ITC. In ITC, we have one of the best examples of where physical and non-physical perspectives meet. ITC is a bridge between two realities. By analyzing the crossing point between such concepts as physical-centric vs. personality-centric evil, we can gain some clues to develop better ITC technology. For example, we can look at PK as an act of intention, or as an act of "harm" to an electronic circuit. The purpose of intention is to gain understanding of the unknown (personality perspective). Harming the circuit (physical perspective) is a means to that end. By holding the conceptual and natural worlds in the same, non-dual mind space, we might discover a technical tweak to the system, using your block diagrams from the Implicit Cosmology as a guide.

Another example has to do with the invisible reality some people call "the nature kingdom." This would include fairies, elves, gnomes, devas, etc. Some of these creatures are known to be rather mischievous, and their actions as borderline "evil." Yet, it is believed that this domain of creation is the bridge between the physical and non-physical worlds. You could explain away their existence as superstition, limited worldview or cultural aberration. But if they are real, even if that reality is illusory from the personality perspective, we can learn their tricks to develop ITC systems. ITC has a similar goal - bridging the two realities.

The alternative is to dismiss physical reality entirely as an illusion, and hope that we can develop ITC from that foundation alone. I suppose that is possible, but is contradicted by your metaphor above, "it is the trials of living in the world that makes the true master."
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#6
As it turns out, personal mediumship and instrumentally augmented mediumship (EVP/ITC) appear to be functionally the same when the trans-etheric process is considered. The Life Field Diagram still applies, except the expression is through a psychokinetic influence on the instrument. We have seen considerable anecdotal evidence of this and I believe a carefully crafted protocol will show this to be empirically shown.

[Image: Functional-Area-of-Life-Field.gif]

This is why we are careful not to give too much weight to what is said via ITC. Of course, we already know the problems with personal mediumship. Both are very subject to cultural contamination. It all depends on message content.

The value of ITC is that it can be used as something of a lab rat, in that hypotheses about trans-etheric influences can be tested under controlled conditions. For instance, it may be possible to devise a test in which information can be repeatedly acquired via EVP that is not known to anyone now or in the past. In such a case, the only form of contamination I can think of is from the future, and as I have maintain, the evidence seems to indicate that the future does not exist outside of potential futures.

Nature Spirits
My early cosmologies included a formative and and an experiential hierarchy representing aspects of source. There is much indication that there is some kind of autonomic function involved in the creation of reality and its maintenance. I still think there may be thoughtforms with nature spirit-like functions. The body mind and our own Attention Complex as described in the Implicit Cosmology are defined as being concerned with mostly automatic life functions.

The "Nature's Habit" function in Sheldrake's morphic fields can be modeled as an autonomic process in the life field or as a nature spirit responsible for the species. It works either way. It may be that, by our attributing personality to the body-mind function, we have inadvertently created a person-like entity etheric field. Such pseudo personalities have been created by study groups ( The Philip Experiment) in the past. There is also the occult familiar.

I have complete confidence that there are at least a few people who will find themselves in a heaven full of Disney characters when they transition.
Tom Butler
Co-director ATransC
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#7
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